Battle Over Medical-Malpractice Caps Moves to Nevada
side note: Once again a state faces a critical choice in keeping high-risk specialties within it’s borders. Nevada faces a crucial test over the law that limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits to $350,000. Most physicians, and Cunningham Group, argue that this has allowed physicians from most specialties to remain in the state b/c not only are trial lawyers more apprehensive in taking on med-mal cases (b/c there’s not enough money in it for them), but this has allowed doctors to not have their medical malpractice insurance rates spiral out of control, like they have in Illinois, Ohio, Florida and a host of others. Granted, with companies such as Cunningham Group, a doctor can shop their medical malpractice insurance around to each and every insurance market in the state to get the lowest price possible….but we do this in other states, like the ones named above, and we do get the lowest price…..but sometimes the cost of medical malpractice insurance in those states can never really have “low” connected with them…..for example, an OBGYN in Florida can pay over $200,000 for just their malpractice insurance!! If you are a physician…and want to start saving on your med-mal, fill out our quick and easy med-mal insurance quote form and start saving!
The Wall Street Journal
by Clifford M. Marks
A challenge to Nevada’s cap on medical malpractice damages has doctors in the state on edge.
The measure in question limited non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits to $350,000, which doctors argued was critical to keeping physicians from fleeing the state due to sky-high insurance premiums. But plaintiffs in one case are attacking that cap on multiple grounds, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the state’s highest court has asked the parties to file briefs in the suit.
First, the plaintiffs, family members of a woman who was allegedly the victim of a misdiagnosis, are arguing that the cap is a limit on each particular claim–not the event as a whole. So in that case, which involves a family estate and seven surviving family members, each party could have a claim against the doctor and the hospital. That’s 16 claims–or $5.6 million in possible non-economic damages. Many doctors argue the cap should be $350,000 regardless of the number of claims.
If the high court sides disagrees with the $5.6 million interpretation, the plaintiffs will ask that the entire cap be ruled an unconstitutional violation of equal protection guarantees in the U.S. and Nevada constitutions.
As many as 30 states have passed similar caps, writes the Review-Journal, and courts across the country have split on whether they’re constitutional.
In April, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled against a limit in its state, writing that such a rule strips juries of their rightful role in determining damages.